Experience Missions ‘19
Some of the most important weeks on the calendar of our church are when we talk about our collective mission to reach the world for Christ. There is no greater enterprise in the history of the world than participating in the advancement of the Kingdom of God. Precious people everywhere need to know that Jesus loves them, died for them, and is preparing an eternal home for them in Heaven. To think that we get to be a part of sharing the Good News to those around the globe is just amazing. Here are a few guiding principles that set the tone for us at BCA — both collectively as a church and individually as Christ followers.
- Create a growing Great Commission culture and mindset.
When someone shares their final “deathbed” wishes you want to listen carefully, knowing that what they’re sharing is very important to them. You could say that Jesus’ deathbed wish was really a command. He commanded us to be his ambassadors, taking the message of His love to all people. We cross cultures, oceans, and languages to make sure that ALL hear. We are ALL in, for ALL the world, so ALL can hear.
- Understand the dimensions of our reach.
We reach out in 3D, understanding there are three dimensions to our reach, as you can see in our outreach triangle:
- We reach out personally as we bring people to church and include them in our church community. May God help us as we invest in relationships with pre-Christians and invite them to church — and to faith.
- We reach out locally through the 100+ ministries of our church and 25+ compassion outreaches to our local community through the Bethany Compassion Center.
- We reach out globally through our 80+ missionaries and missionary projects and our 5 Global Church Partnerships (Sumba, Cuba, Albania, eSwatini/Swaziland, Medical Missions).
- Realize that conviction and passion come from the mandates of Scripture.
We must be careful that the good does not become the enemy of the GREAT (sounds like a book I read once). There are many good things we can do as a church but we must make sure it does not take our eyes off the GREAT, which is reaching out to others so they can know of God’s love for them. Notice these 5 “greats” that provide us with our marching orders:
- Great COMMISSION — Matthew 28:19,20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
- Great COMMANDMENT — Matthew 22:37-40: Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
- Great COMMITMENT — Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
- Great CALLING — Luke 14:23: “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.’”
- Great CONCENTRATION — Matthew 4:19: “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
- Reach out farther and wider than ever before.
Our motto is Pray, Give, Go — even more this year than last year. And last year our goal was to Pray, Give, Go even more than the year before. We want to continue to reach out farther and wider for Christ’s glory. We PRAY for people far from God. We PRAY for our missionary team. We GIVE regularly to support missions and missionary outreach through our missionary team and Global Church Partnerships. And we GO on STORM trips (Short Term OutReach Missions) and we GO by becoming missionaries or sending missionaries in our place.
Let me close by sharing three important quotes. Hudson Taylor and Jim Elliot were amazing missionaries whose words are legendary. I’ve included a quote that summarizes my heart and I’m asking you to prayerfully ask God to give you a burden for people who need the Lord.
- Hudson Taylor — “The light that shines the farthest is the light that shines brightest at home.” We need to keep building up our church so we can reach out farther and wider.
- Jim Elliot — “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” We need to gain the eternal, which is souls. We treasure helping people find the Lord.
- Rob Carlson — “We must be driven by that which drove Christ to the cross; namely, people and their need to know God’s love.” We are either a missionary or a mission field. If we know Christ then we must reach out passionately, so join me as I seek to Pray. Give. Go.